Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Praise

Ten years ago today I received news that shook me to my core, and, literally, left me unable to stand. My 14-year-old brother was dead. Kees and I were incredibly close. His death broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces that seemed impossible to put back together.

I had grown accustomed to believing that "tragedy" was a four-letter word that only happened to other people, not our family. Then it did. At first I didn't believe it was true. I held tight to the possibility that maybe it was a mistake and he would come walking through our garage door one day, with his Tar Heel hat on (living in New York, mind you), and I'd say, "Hey, Bud (my nickname for him), where've ya been?" My world would go back to normal.

When that didn't happen, I ran from the truth. I used alcohol and drugs to numb my pain. It did, at first, until my actions while drunk or high caused more pain. It was a horribly stupid cycle I couldn't break. This lasted for four years until I finally grew tired of being numb. I longed for freedom and a chance to start over. Now I know that it was God pulling on my heart, pleading for me to return to Him. My world was so foggy at that time, I couldn't tell it was Him.

Then I accepted a job in North Carolina. Physically being away from the place where I had cowered in pain for so long was freeing. It felt as though being away from where the fog covered me in misery allowed me to see clearly again. God was still-and never stopped-pulling on my heart, pleading for me to return to Him. One Sunday, as Jacob Early led the original Journey Church in worship, I heard His voice asking me to let His love put the pieces of my heart back together.

I did, and my life has never been the same. That is the power of God's restoration.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Little's blind date test

One of my favorite photos of one of my favorite littles, my niece Madelyn.

As a little girl, I never dreamt about my wedding like others did. No visions of puffy white dresses, bright flowers, or a tall cake. I did, however, scribble names in the margins of my notebook paper. I would imagine what I would, one day, name my little girl or boy.

Now that I have found my prince charming, discussions of babies in the future make me want to start scribbling names again. With a wealth of family names, unique names, and old names, there are just SO many to pick from. Thankfully we have quite a while before we have to. But when the time comes, I will most definitely try out the blind date test Joanna Goddard shared on A Cup of Jo.

If you're in the market for a baby name, try it out. You never know how it may impact your little one day. ; )

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pretty Little Netflix

This is horrible to admit. I have a new guilty pleasure: Pretty Little Liars. In a desperate Netflix search it seemed like the only option. Now I'm hooked on the high school drama of this secret driven show. Who is "A"? Why do I care?

What is your guilty pleasure?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just a few more

Here are some more photos from the last days of our trip as well as some personal favorites. 

Venice, questioning how everything just doesn't sink.

About every two minutes, you'd walk across a view like this. Beautiful.

 Our view from dinner...

...and the hotel room.

Cooling off in the grand canal. I'm unsure of the sanitary wellbeing of this body of water, but we weren't the only ones beating the heat this way.

 Another view of the grand canal.

Do you like my new look?

For men too.

An evening bike ride through town!

The love lock bridge in Paris. Lovers initial a lock and fasten it to this bridge to signify the strength of their bond.

Thanks for letting me share our trip with you. :) 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Peter Pan Collar

"To live will be an awfully big adventure."
-J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I've never been a fashionista. My clothing purchases are largely influenced by efficiency, comfort, price, and, of course, personal attraction. I don't make it a habit of emulating trends, simply because my wallet can't keep up. However, there is one trend that has recently caught my eye: the Peter Pan collar. It's not new. In fact, I've sported a few of these collars as a child. Here's a look at some beauties:

What are some trends holding your attention?

Friday, August 3, 2012

That's amore!

And fall in love I did. With each new post I feel I am expressing more fondness for a new city. If I can return to one place from our adventure, it would be Italy. The streets, the architecture, the history, the people, the food; takes my breath away. 

We arrived in Rome late in the evening and arrived to this: Trevi Bed & Breakfast and her neighbor, the delicious restaurant, Il Chianti
(If anyone is looking to visit Rome, I highly recommend this B&B; reasonable price, free-good-breakfast, great location, and room 206 was incredibly quiet.)

Our entryway to "home".

As her name suggests, Trevi B&B is a mere minute walk around the corner from Trevi fountain. Legend has it, a backwards coin toss, over the left shoulder, into the fountain guarantees your return.

The city center is so small, you can walk to most desired sites easily in one day. Here, the Spanish Steps.

Heaven on earth. 

The Pantheon dates back to 126 AD. It has served as a pagan temple and, later, rebuilt by Hadrian as a Christian church. It's core is as tall as it is wide, with a circular opening at the top of the inner dome. The Pantheon's preservation helps to serve as a visual for what the ruins of the Roman Forum once were. (Think Gladiator scenes)

Speaking of Gladiator . . .  I channeled my inner barbarian strength while waiting for our guided tour of the Colosseum. 

Behind us lies just a core of what once was. The stories of this structure, and the men who visited, are amazing.

Ruins of the Roman Forum, a once vibrant city center.

The Vatican and St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Basilica

We visited early in the morning, and, in this majestic church, I could feel the warmth of His presence. 

This altar was constructed of bronze taken from the Pantheon's dome. 

On the east side of the Vatican is the museum and Sistine Chapel. In the distance you can see the dome of St. Peter's, designed by Michelangelo. 

Just one of the many spectacular corridors of the Vatican museum. 

Thanks for reading. More to come on Venice soon. 

Much love...

K + C

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Thursday

Happy Thursday!

My morning so far: catching up on blogs, yummy cup of coffee, and my monkey of a dog keeping me company.

My favorite blogs of late . . . 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


We are home! It's a strange, wonderful feeling. I'm digging myself out from under heaps of laundry, our pantry has been restocked, Koda is home and cuddly as ever, and I'm wildly optimistic about the future.  

God is good! Prior to our departure, Chad got word that his position as a system engineer with PCMHC will be full-time beginning mid-August; the same time my new teaching job (officially) begins at CSD. This opportunity is an answer to prayer and we are humbled by God's faithful blessing. Thank you for those who prayed alongside us.

The last few days of our adventure took us to Rome, Venice, and Milan by way of train. We were able to enjoy the Italian countryside as well as some strikingly beautiful cities. With Chad returning to work today-and all the photos on his laptop-that post will come a little later. Meanwhile, I am excited to get cozy again with Charlotte, catch up with friends, get my house in order, and meet my father for dinner tomorrow night. :)

Much love...